Do you have too many scraps in your scrap bin? Here's a little tutorial to make yourself a quilt to use up lots of those little scraps. A little bit tricky to sew up the strips, but uses up some of those strange shaped pieces. Here's the how-to.
- 1 yard backing fabric
- 1/2 yard binding fabric
- approx. 1/2 yard of white quilting fabric
- batting (approx. 40" x 40")
- LOTS of scraps!
For this baby sized quilt (approximately 34"x34"), you will need about 28 yards of sewn up strips. Takes a little time and patience to get the funky, patchwork strips, but worth it in the end.
Cutting: The only cutting you will do to start, is cut 8 strips of white as follows: 1" x11.5", 1.25" x 24", 1.5" x 36.5", 1.5" x 43", 1.75" x 41", 1.25" x 28.5", 1.25" x 13", 1.5" x 6".
Sewing: Grab your scrap bin (or dump it out on the floor, by your feet and baby)
and start grabbing some pieces. You want pieces that are at least 2.5" in one direction or another. They can be as long or short as you want going the other way.
Now, the tricky part is sewing angles. I wanted mine nice and funky with lots of angles. It takes a little practice to get it right. This is what I found works best for the slightly off of straight angle (if you have a better way to do it, PLEASE share with the rest of the class!). Take your starting piece and lay it flat. Then add the next piece on top, at a slight angle, sewing straight along the edge of the second piece, like so:
Another way to make some funky angles is to make a seam just like you do when sewing up your binding strip. This will give you a sharp angle, or even a little triangle piece. Here is the general idea:
Keep adding your pieces until you have at least an 18" strip (this is approximate-- just somewhere in the vicinity). You will need 56 strips. I used many different lengths of pieces. Some were 1" long, some were 18" long. I found that the wider the pieces (more than 2.5"), the easier it was to keep it fairly straight while getting some good angles.
Trimming: Once you get your 56 strips, it is time to trim. We are going to take those crazy strips that look like this:
and trim them to look like this:
Of course, your see-through ruler thingy is going to be your best friend in this. And your iron. First you need to iron very thoroughly. Then trim your seams down to about 1/4 inch seam allowance. (You will have lots of cute little triangular shaped scraps. Any good ideas for triangle scraps?)
Next, lay it flat on your cutting mat. Make sure it is FLAT-FLAT and not mooshed in one direction to make your line straight. If it is not straight, you can always cut it where it veers off and add some new pieces-- hopefully in a straighter line.
Then, trim away! Cut each strip 2.5" wide.
And now you have a NEW set of scraps, ready to be used. . .
Now, we are going to sew all of our strips together in a straight piece. This piece will be cut into smaller strips. (I found that sewing shorter strips, about 18" was much easier than longer ones-- kept them straighter!) Here are the lengths of strips you will need to cut from the long piece-- make two sets:
Set 1: 48", 45.5", 41.5", 39", 34", 31.5", 29", 26.5", 21.5", 19", 16.5", 14", 9", 6.5" and 4". Also add the following white strips to this set: 1" x11.5", 1.25" x 24", 1.5" x 36.5", 1.5" x 43".
Set 2: 48", 45.5", 43", 39", 36.5", 34", 29", 26.5", 24", 21.5", 16.5", 14", 11.5", 9", 4". Add the following white strips to this set: 1.75" x 41.5", 1.25" x 31.5", 1.25" x 19", 1.5" x 6.5".
For the first set, you will need to trim 5 of your strips down to 1.75" wide, 4 strips to 2" wide, and 3 to 2.25" wide- it doesn't matter which ones. Just make a good mix of sizes. For the second set, trim 3 to 1.75", 2 to 2" wide and 3 to 2.25" wide. This adds a little more variety and funkiness.
Sewing: Start with your first set. Arrange the strips from longest to shortest, including the white strips. Take the longest strip (48"), and sew your next longest strip to it. Center it, so that you have about the same length hanging over on each end of your shorter strip. Continue sewing until all your Set 1 strips are together. Then repeat for your Set 2.
Now sew your two pieces together and it should look something like this:
Time to trim again! I folded mine in half one way and used my folded edge as my guide to trim the top/bottom and side/side. It doesn't have to be perfect in this step because you will trim again after you quilt it, but the straighter it is, the easier and bigger and squarer (is that a word?) it will be.
Quilting: I just used a simple white for my backing and quilted it in straight lines, a 1/4 inch on both sides of the seam line, except on the white strips. I sewed one line down the middle of the white.
After it is quilted, square it up again, bind it and enjoy! A little piece of sunshine. . .
Leisel is from Brown Paper Packages. She is a Mama trying to find time to sew cute things for her girlies and also fit a few quilts into the mix. Stop by sometime and say hello.